chapter
1 Pages

by curriculum guidance at the turn of the 2000s, for example in primary geography (QCA/DfEE, 1998/2000), helped them focus their curriculum to meet the English national curriculum subject requirements more effec-tively (DfES/QCA, 1999). Others viewed these changes to bemore inhibit-ing (Catling, Bowles, Halocha, Martin, & Rawlinson, 2007). The government’s response was to encourage refreshment in teachers’ approaches to the primary curriculum, teaching and learning (DfES, 2003). A broader-based curriculum and greater flexibility for teachers were encouraged to enable them to use their professional skills to develop challenging andmotivating pedagogy, though the reality of this occurring was questioned (Alexander, 2008a). Primary schools were invited to be more creative and adventurous, while using cross-curricular and subject approaches. This was reinforced in the 2008–9 review of England’s pri-mary curriculum (Rose, 2009), which drew on pertinent examples to illus-trate how teachers could exercise increased autonomy in their classroom curriculum decision-making while working with national curriculum requirements and guidance. In particular, there was encouragement to focus on active learning strategies in the primary classroom (Monk & Sil-man, 2011). Linked with these developments, England’s then Training and Devel-opment Agency for Schools (TDA) offered funding to promote teachers’ development of curriculum opportunities as a mechanism to reinvigorate and develop their teaching. This funding was focused on subject leaders who might consequently foster curriculum development and innovation in their schools (TDA, 2007). The Geographical Association (GA) suc-cessfully bid for funding from this stream (GA, 2007) and initiated a cur-riculum enhancement project, Young Geographers – A Living Geography Project for Primary Schools. At the heart of this project was what the GA termed curriculum making. The project provided opportunities for teach-ers to develop a class curriculum topic, with a strong geographical focus, which they could initiate and structure outside their normal scheme of work, but which would enhance it by opening new or additional lines of enquiry with their children. The project was undertaken in the context of the GA’s living geography model which encouraged teachers to draw on and engage children’s environmental experiences (GA, 2007; Mitchell, 2009). This article examines the teachers’ emergent perspectives from their engagement in The Young Geographers Project, focusing on their reflec-tions about curriculummaking. The term curriculum making: antecedents and meanings The phrase curriculum making has been used for a century and more. Bobbitt’s (1918) seminal text on curriculum argued that ‘curriculum making’ was poorly developed in the early twentieth century as a rigorous